Which two colleges to send report to (goal is to boost admission chances)

<p>Hi, I'm a high school junior, and I'm getting National Merit recognition. However, I'm probably only getting Commended. Therefore, when choosing colleges to send reports to, I'm not interested in which colleges give out scholarships as Semifinalists and Finalists might be. Instead, I'm trying to figure out which colleges this report would give me a boost for regarding admissions.</p>

<p>1) Should I send the reports to reach, target, or safety schools?
-Most applicants at reach schools have National Merit stuff too, but maybe I need to show I'm on par with them. Plus these are the schools I really want to go to.
-I don't really need help at safeties, but would they consider giving me a scholarship (not National Merit related) if I showed interest in this way?</p>

<p>2) Do certain colleges respond better to this kind of thing and see it as you showing interest, while others don't care?</p>

<p>I know this isn't a really big deal and it doesn't really affect my chances all that much. Still, I'd like to make the best choices as I can. Thank you in advance for your help.</p>

<p>What colleges are you looking at or what type of colleges are you looking at (e.g. LAC's, state universities, or type of major or location like south east?)) etc. </p>

<p>To be honest, most schools do not care. For example, If your reach school is Harvard, they will not care.</p>

<p>If you share the list of colleges you are looking at, may be someone can help you narrow it down.</p>

<p>Good idea, here's my current list. (I'm in CA btw.)</p>

<p>-Stanford
-Occidental
-Pomona
-UC Berkeley
-UCLA
-UC San Diego
-Columbia
-Yale
-St. Mary's (it's in CA) --> safety
-Mills (same) --> safety</p>

<p>i really don't think what school you send the 2 reports to matters</p>

<p>Okay Skywalker 23...thanks for your opinion. I would still like to get more opinions on strategy though.</p>

<p>It does not matter which schools you choose, but if you want to narrow it down, this is way I would look at it</p>

<p>It will not matter at any of the UC's so there is no point in sending it to UC Berkeley, UCLA, or UC San Diego as the UC's look at more statistics based criteria rather than perceived interest. </p>

<p>By the same token, there is no point in sending it to your safeties as it will not serve any purpose in the admissions process. Assuming that you are in the UC range i.e. competitive at UC's, you will be most likely be assured admission at St. Mary's and Mills. (I do not know anything about them but I would assume they are not very selective.)</p>

<p>I do not believe there is any value in sending it to Stanford, Yale and Columbia as they are very competitive. In those schools your profile (grades, EC's, SAT's eassy explaining interest etc.) will be important not the fact you showed interest in them by sending them your PSAT score. If HYPS + other ivy's went only by demonstrated interest shown by PSAT choice, they would have to admit most students as most of the 50000 top students in NM competition would choose them.</p>

<p>That leave Pomona and Occidental as the colleges to choose. Anyone else?</p>

<p>Bump! Good answer from Maze!</p>

<p>I appreciated Maze's answer, as my daughter will be submitting her two choices in the next several days. She will probably be a semi-finalist, with a 228.</p>

<p>Here is a slightly different approach (and I'd love to hear other readers' comments):<br>
Determine which of your potential colleges consider demonstrated interest. You can do this by checking each college's website or its Common Data Set (section C7). I agree with Maze that there is no point in sending it to Ivy League colleges, as they don't consider demonstrated interest.</p>

<p>Of those colleges considering demonstrated interest, I would choose the two that you would most like to attend but that might doubt your level of interest. Your first choice could be a match or safety school because of the possibility of greater merit aid there, or for personal reasons. This is your chance to let the college know that, while on paper it would be considered a safety, it is not your last choice college.</p>

<p>Schokolade: We have only anecdotal evidence but the consensus is that it does not matter much. What I have heard from others is that colleges put you on the mailing list and keep sending out mailings and communication and nothing more. Given that there are 50,000 people selected, and each person has two choices, so there are a potential 100,000 choices. So a school may get many names and they would have no idea on what the real interest is or what the credentials are. In other words, demonstrated interest in a school shown by sending them your PSAT score will be a very small factor in the selection. Actually visiting the school, attending presentations in your city, making contact with Alumni,attending an interview, getting in contact with faculty and staff etc. will show more demonstrated interest as your are making a considerable amount of effort, rather than having someone mail in the name. And in the end the profile (grades, scores, recommendations etc,) matter the most.</p>

<p>That said, you should try and use the choices that make most sense in your case. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Of those colleges considering demonstrated interest, I would choose the two that you would most like to attend but that might doubt your level of interest.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Yes, makes sense</p>

<p>
[quote]
Your first choice could be a match or safety school because of the possibility of greater merit aid there, or for personal reasons. This is your chance to let the college know that, while on paper it would be considered a safety, it is not your last choice college.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Not necessarily. The school may or may not give merit aid. School may or may not give NMSC scholarships or the scholarships they give are nominal. My S's safety was the state flagship school where they could care less if you you sent them your PSAT score. Some schools might care, many may not. So what you need to do is to look through your list and determine what makes sense. Your strategy is good but may not apply to every case.</p>

<p>My S never utilized this service and he did get into his first choice school and some other very good schools.</p>

<p>Thank you for the additional explanation, MazeWanderer. </p>

<p>In researching this issue on the internet, I discovered that CC seems to have the most information--and one other unrelated website actually had blatantly false information (claiming that a student would lose her chance at a NM scholarship if she didn't choose it as one of her two colleges by May 25). Now I'll sit down with my daughter, tell her what I know, and let her choose two colleges from her list.</p>

<p>^^^^ Absolutely not. My S completely forgot about it and gave it me in July when it was past the deadline and we ignored it. He was awarded one of the $2500 scholarships.</p>

<p>If you miss the deadline for submitting the NMSC application (your school has to send it not your D and so they need to follow the deadlines), then you have missed your chance, not for the reporting service.</p>

<p>If you post your D's list, someone can weigh in with suggestions on which 2, but no need to sweat it.</p>

<p>Hey everyone, thanks for your suggestions. I did go on the Common Data Sets (which I hadn't used before - very helpful!). I ended up using my instinct to choose Stanford and Pomona. (I figured I should be able to get into Occidental anyways.) Let's hope I made the right decision. On the flip side it doesn't matter as much as I wish it would :/</p>

<p>Good luck to everyone going through the same process!</p>

<p>Hey, I've been commended too. I've been trying forever to figure out how to do the whole sending scores thing. I've searched all over the collegeboard website. If you could tell me how you do it that would be great : )</p>

<p>You would have got a form from your HS. Fill out that form and send it NMSC. If you have not got the form call NMSC and ask them what to do. Your school GC should also know. I do not have the NMSC phone number, you can google it or look in these forums as it has been posted many times.</p>

<p>: (
Well the due date is tomorrow
Oh well.</p>

<p>The due date is today--but you don't need a form. All you need is the ID (your first initial and last name, all caps) and the password so you can enter this information on the website, <a href="http://www.collegeplans.org%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.collegeplans.org&lt;/a>. If you are still interested in doing this, call the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to see if they can help you with your password: (847) 866-5100.</p>

<p>Good news for those who haven't been able to do this yet--I read from another post that the due date has been extended, and I checked the website to confirm this. The new due date is May 28.</p>